NBN customers getting more savvy when choosing a provider, ACCC report suggests

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NBN customers in Australia have been shopping around more when choosing a new provider, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) most recent Wholesale Market Indicators quarterly report. The data, published on December 15 2022, shows ‘other’ RSPs have been continuing to increase their market share, while the market share enjoyed by the major telco providers slowly declines. 

Australia’s consumer watchdog found the smaller telcos now enjoy 14.2% of the total NBN wholesale market as of the September quarter of 2022, compared to just a 10% stake recorded in September 2021. This rather large increase indicates customers are choosing to shop around more and seek out the best NBN plans for their needs, which might not always mean going with one of Australia’s major providers.

The major NBN providers of Telstra, TPG, Optus and Vocus (which owns Dodo and iPrimus) all experienced a decline in market share in the same 12 month period. Telstra dropped from 44.3% to 42.7%, TPG was down to 22.8% from 23.9%, Optus fell from 14.5% to 13.4% and Vocus saw its market share decline from 7.2% to 6.9%. 

The ACCC’s report doesn’t indicate the market share of each individual smaller telco, but the watchdog did add that both Aussie Broadband and Superloop saw an increase in market share of 0.3 percentage points, which were the largest increases of the smaller providers. 

ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey said of the data, “The rate at which smaller broadband providers are gaining market share from the big four accelerated markedly in the September quarter. The smaller providers increased their market share by 1.6 percentage points, which is about double the rate of the previous three quarters.” 

While the ACCC doesn’t explicitly state why the smaller NBN providers have increased their market share, the most recent Measuring Broadband Australia report shared by the consumer watchdog revealed the smaller NBN providers comfortably compete with the big players when it comes to delivering advertised download speeds.

Data table showing percentage of advertised download speed delivered by NBN providers

(Image credit: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

In fact, Launtel, a small telco based in Tasmania, exceeded its advertised speed by 4.5% across all hours, and 3.3% during the typical busy evening period of 7pm - 11pm. Launtel was the fastest of all providers, bettering the service of Optus, Telstra and TPG.

What’s more, the smaller telcos tend to charge less for their services compared to the bigger companies, resulting in excellent value for money.

See below for the latest deals on offer by a selection of the smaller ISPs in Australia, offering NBN 50 plans. The NBN 50 plan was found to be the most popular in Australia, accounting for 54% of all NBN services.

●  Best internet plans in Australia

Max Langridge
Senior Editor, Tom's Guide AU

Max is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, where he covers all things internet-related, including NBN and the emerging alternatives, along with audio and visual products such as headphones and TVs. Max started his career in his homeland of England, where he spent time working for What Hi-Fi? and Pocket-lint, before moving to Australia in 2018.